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Improving colonial narratives
09-22-2017, 10:12 PM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2017 10:55 AM by Merrix.)
Post: #1
Improving colonial narratives
Hi everyone,

I've been reading through the wiki, and I would like to encourage us to develop more realistic colonial narratives for our states and colonies. In the real world, many settler-states are trying to shed their colonial histories in favour of histories that acknowledge indigenous people as active participants within the world. I think it would enrich Gotha if we did the same.

Colonial histories tend to focus on the activities or perspectives of settlers and imperialists. Indigenous peoples are mentioned only in passing, and they are treated as passive peoples - they're never shown in history as people who do things, but only as people that have things done to them. A great example is North America, where most histories have traditionally focused on the settling the continent and not on the indigenous action and reaction to it.

Histories that acknowledge indigenous peoples include indigenous perspectives. They discuss it from their point of view, and elaborate on their actions, thoughts, and motivations. We should focus more on this.
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09-22-2017, 10:30 PM
Post: #2
RE: Improving colonial narratives
As players who play as a nation and develop it we are the driving force behind the nation, its people and interests. if we play a nation that has colonies it is only natural we would side with our "chosen" people and as such everything would from their perspective, the indigenous perspective is secondary unless it plays actively on a plot or to the development of a specific nation.

I am not sure what you are proposing...

The Encompassing Wolgos Bind -- All submit to the enlightenment of the chosen.
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09-22-2017, 10:55 PM
Post: #3
RE: Improving colonial narratives
I think this issue is going to have to play a major role in the development of my nation since the Amajin as a ethno-cultural entity are not indigenous to Northwest Davai. I am going to do a history on how the region came to be settled by the Rojavi Amajin which will be detailing the Rojavi-Penduan War. Evidently this should tell the side of the Penduan people native to Kisaga and I intend for a Penduan precursor state to have dominated the region along with Sriaav and Samzayid settlers before the Amajin conquests. After that there will be a detailed history of a caste system the new overlords developed that determined who was affected by the mixed of cultures and to what extent.

Generally speaking is this the sort of development we should see more of? Many players have regions that are either inhabited by other native peoples besides the colonists but these are fleshed out to varying extents. I think the Bule Republics () are a rather good example of colonial relations outlined on the wiki that develops the culture and society of the indigenous and explains how the Aedelish integrate into a preexisting social structure to their advantage.
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09-22-2017, 11:37 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2017 11:44 PM by Merrix.)
Post: #4
RE: Improving colonial narratives
(09-22-2017 10:30 PM)Thor99 Wrote:  I am not sure what you are proposing...

Felipe and I have had quite a lengthy facebook conversation on this, so I'll just recap my POV for others:

Basically, that we don't write Mary Sue colonial histories. Histories where the colonists arrive, conquer land, kill indigenous people, build cities, assimilate the remaining indigenous people, and live happily ever after in colony country where they sing Kumbaya.
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09-23-2017, 02:41 AM
Post: #5
RE: Improving colonial narratives
I'd rather not.

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09-23-2017, 06:49 PM
Post: #6
RE: Improving colonial narratives
Why interject a social justice narrative into late nineteenth century colonialism? Merrix's Mary Sue example is how it happened in pretty much all successful colonies throughout history. Colonizing powers that fail to subdue or integrate the native population are not successful.

This is not to say that certain opposition minorities aren't present. Of course, they always are. Crime is also present. So is poverty.

I agree with Felipe. In game, these issues are not necessarily the driving narrative force. That the marginalized and victim-class is not driving the narrative doesn't mean they live happily ever after singing Kumbaya. They just don't matter enough to include in the narrative.

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09-23-2017, 07:26 PM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2017 07:39 PM by Merrix.)
Post: #7
RE: Improving colonial narratives
Quote:Why interject a social justice narrative into late nineteenth century colonialism? Merrix's Mary Sue example is how it happened in pretty much all successful colonies throughout history. Colonizing powers that fail to subdue or integrate the native population are not successful.

I think I muddled my explanation and what I'm trying to get across. I'm not suggesting social justice, merely that we don't write oversimplified colonial narratives. I'm most familiar with the Canadian situation, and the Mary Sue example - the history that Canadians traditionally learned and that older historians wrote - is a gross oversimplification of how history unfolded. Canadians learned (and to some extent still learn) a settler narrative that ignored treaties between the British monarchy and indigenous people, indigenous resistance and power during the early colonial period, the Columbian exchange and the role of diseases,
residential schools, reserves, indigenous resistance to colonization...etc.

Colonization is nuanced and messy, and I think the concept is much more interesting if we explore it fully rather than from a simplified and one-sided settler narrative that makes everything sound peachy. The main reason my original post focused on the indigenous people in my original post is because taking them into account goes a long way towards undoing the oversimplification.

Quote:I agree with Felipe. In game, these issues are not necessarily the driving narrative force. That the marginalized and victim-class is not driving the narrative doesn't mean they live happily ever after singing Kumbaya. They just don't matter enough to include in the narrative.

I'm not suggesting that roleplay narratives focus on the marginalized. I'm suggesting that nation or colony wiki pages depict a plausible and realistic account of colonization.
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09-23-2017, 08:52 PM
Post: #8
RE: Improving colonial narratives
More detail is always to be encouraged but some things will get oversimplified depending on the focus each player has. Just because it is simplified doesn't mean it is unrealistic or implausible.

Your oversimplified Mary Sue example is very plausible.

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09-23-2017, 09:19 PM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2017 09:19 PM by Merrix.)
Post: #9
RE: Improving colonial narratives
Quote:Your oversimplified Mary Sue example is very plausible.[quote]

I disagree, but we can leave it at that.
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09-26-2017, 10:33 PM
Post: #10
RE: Improving colonial narratives
Let's face it, most people only grabbed a lot of colonial land because they could according to the ledger. I know of some examples where players looked for the places with e.g. coffee and tin in order to cover the lack of those in the home state. While this is a driving force behind colonialism, colonizers usually don't know where the iron or coal are located.

And yes there are more types of colonialism than the American scenario (which also was roled out in Australia and New Zealand). Africa was largely French, India British and a tiny nation like The Netherlands managed for centuries in what today is Indonesia.

Anyway, since I have more storyline entries regarding a relatively small group of natives in a small colony of an insignificant nation then the rest of the planet combined, I think I have added some solor to the narrative, right?

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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